WAGGA apprentice jockey Rebeka Prest enjoyed one of her best days at the races on Saturday as she enjoyed a winning treble at Tumut’s Boxing Day meeting.
A year to the day after she kicked off her professional riding career, Prest stole the show by winning three of the five races on offer.
Wet conditions kept most racegoers away but a decision by Tumut Turf Club officials to aerate the track in the lead up ultimately saved the race meeting from being abandoned.
The distances for three of the five races had to be reduced to 1200 metres but for the club and connections of the runners, it was better than no meeting at all.
Prest started the day off in style with a win on Triple Bolt ($3.00) for her boss, Chris Heywood, in the Sounds Of The Mountains Maiden Plate (1000m).
She scored for Kembla Grange trainer Melissa Harrison on Jabu ($7.00) in the Tumut & Adelong Times Benchmark 48 Handicap, that was reduced from 1600m to 1200m.
Prest then finished the day with a bang, winning the Weir Racing John Weir Memorial Benchmark 55 Handicap (1000m) on Dane Sweeper ($6.00) for Wagga trainer Ron Steiner.
The 28-year-old described it as one of her best days at the track.
“One of, certainly as a professional,” Prest said.
“I’ve ridden four winners out of five at the picnics one day but this is up there for sure.
“Especially because it is 12 months to the day that I became an apprentice.”
After riding plenty of winners as an amateur rider, Prest made the brave decision to join the professional ranks and took up an apprenticeship with Heywood.
She has thrived with more than 20 winners in that time and only sits a couple of wins of the pace in this season’s Southern District jockey’s premiership.
Prest could not be happier with how things have panned out.
“I’m very happy,” she said.
“I kind of didn’t expect going this well but it’s really good.”
Prest said she headed to Tumut hopeful of a big day.
“I was confident in a few of them,” she said.
“I knew I had some nice rides but then when the track was so wet, I wasn’t sure.”
Prest will be rewarded for her form when she has her first metropolitan ride at Rosehill next Saturday.
Wagga trainer Tim Donnelly will take Angus Rock to Rosehill for the Highway Handicap and has chosen to keep Prest in the saddle.
“It’s a really good opportunity,” Prest said.
While she dos not claim in the country, Prest can claim three kilograms at provincial and city tracks.
She will ride at Dubbo on Monday, followed by Canberra and Echuca this week.
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